Nature Notes
Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About LITTLE PENGUINS...


Q. When do they leave in the morning?
A. 1-2 hours before sunrise.

Q. Why do they come ashore in groups at sunset?
A. For protection from predators such as Sea Eagles.

Q. How long do they keep coming in at night?
A. Majority (60%) of penguins come in within the first 50 minutes, the rest come in within 2 hours.

Q. Do they arrive in pairs or family groups?
A. No, unlikely.


Q. What do they eat?
A. Mainly small fish such as pilchards and anchovies, some squid.

Q. How much do they eat?
A. In captivity when they are not exercising, they eat 150g per day. At sea, they would probably eat up to 500g daily.

Q. Do parents feed each other?
A. No.

Q. Where are their main feeding areas?
A. Mainly Western Bass Strait and Port Phillip Bay.

Q. How deep do they dive?
A. Generally less than 10m. They can dive up to depths of 30m.

Q. How long can they hold their breath underwater?
A. 55 seconds on average.

Q. How fast can they swim?
A. 2-4km/hr on average (maximum 6.4 km /hr).

Q. How far do they travel at sea each day?
A. 15-50km. We recently radio-tracked penguins to find out where they travel for food each day. This was part of a three year research project sponsored by Esso/BHPP and the Penguin Reserve. See "Helping the Penguin Through Research" for more details.

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